Dry Cleaning! It’s a Family Affair!

I know, I know….you were just left hanging.  I began a series on laundry and promised my last post to be on the subject of dry-cleaning.  After that third post in the series, we went on a little trip to New Mexico and then when we got home, we made another short trip.  I’m now back in the saddle and getting back on track.  You have probably been holding your breath, checking everyday to see what I had to say about dry-cleaning.  You know I’m just teasing, right?  So much has been going on in our world with the terrible floods in Houston and then the past few days the hurricane in Florida; it felt a little strange to sit down and share my thoughts on dry-cleaning.

If you missed the previous posts on my Laundry Series, I’ll share the links for you to click on and you can catch up.

It’s Laundry Day!  Where Is Your Laundry Room?

Laundry Day at Martha’s!

Tips and Inspiration for Laundry Day!

Now to share with you my story about dry cleaning.

When I was a young girl, I remember playing at my grandparents dry cleaning store.  I have memories of walking behind the  counter and seeing corsages that they were giving away to ladies for Mother’s Day.  They gave me one to play with….I was very impressed!  I also remember playing in some baskets and pushing my brother in one of the baskets around in the building.  The name of their cleaners was, “Fisher Cleaners.”   My grandparents had their businesses in Scottsdale, Arizona, Clovis, New Mexico and Ft. Stockton, Texas.

This is a picture of my grandparents delivery truck for “Fisher Dry Cleaners.” I had this framed for my husband and another one for my brother. I love this picture!

My father was a surveyor and we moved quiet a bit when I was young, so I didn’t get to see my grandparents very much.  I do have some sweet memories of them and had always wished that I could have been around them more often.  My Aunt and Uncle were also in the dry cleaning business with my grandparents.  I loved being around my Aunt FloraMae and my Uncle Dennis.  They are all very special to me and many fond memories of them.

After my Jim and I married and we went to seminary, well, Jim went to seminary and I worked while he went to school full time.  Jim’s dress code was a dress shirt and tie everyday to class.  He was also on staff at a church in Burleson, Texas.  He had to wear suits to work each day and when visiting and during church services.  I don’t know if you would ever think of this, but, can you imagine on a young pastor and student salary how dry cleaning was a huge luxury for us.  I learned how to starch Jim’s shirts and spot clean his suits and ties.  My sweet mom would come for a visit every now and then and the two things she would do, take me to the grocery store and then she would gather all of Jim’s suits and ties and take them to the local dry cleaner.  What a blessing that was.

Okay, I will take a break right here and mention that if you have ever wondered what to do for your pastor and his wife, you might consider a dry cleaning gift.  Well, if you are a member of a small church and money is tight.  I’ve seen some churches lately that I don’t think they struggle at all with paying their pastors enough to where they can afford to have their clothes dry cleaned on a regular basis.  The church world has changed quiet a bit since our days of ministry. Anyway, that’s just an idea.  Maybe a seminary student?  Of course, you really don’t see many suits now days either or ties.  Maybe I should just delete this whole paragraph.  We will have to talk about that sometime how much the church world has changed just in the past 20 years.  Okay, get back on track Beverly!

After almost 20 years in full time ministry, we felt like the Lord wanted us to step out of ministry.  We didn’t have a clue what we were going to do.  But, God did.  He had the perfect business for us to go into.  Not only that, my brother became business partners with Jim.  Together they were able to buy a franchise for our area.  We all learned some amazing things about business and of course, dry cleaning.  We bought a couple of stores and we now have 6 stores and even sold several others to our daughter and son-in-love in another city.  We are now a family of dry cleaners, just like my grandparents and my aunt and uncle.  Isn’t that crazy?  I shake my head sometimes thinking how crazy that all is.  God is an amazing God and oh, how He has taken care of us even during those times where we didn’t have a clue what to do.  I wish I could tell you all of our stories of how God worked and what He has brought us through.  I usually try to share little things here and  there on things we have gone through and the craziness we have seen… all to show how amazing God has worked in our lives! (only if I think it will encourage or help someone, of course)

You are probably saying, “Beverly, I want to know about dry cleaning, enough of your story!”  That’s coming tomorrow.  I just wanted to set up how I could possibly know anything about dry cleaning.  I guess what I love the most about this whole story are two things:

  1.  After having my grandparents and aunt and uncle in dry cleaning business, who would have ever thought that would be the business that my family would be in many years later.
  2. Most of our marriage, dry cleaning was a luxury…something that we just never did due to the expense for our young family.

I’ll share this little story.  When our kids were young, my coat needed cleaning for the upcoming winter.  I remember sitting down with the phone book and calling every dry cleaner in town and asking how much they would charge to clean my coat.  I remember writing the prices down by each name and then talking to my husband to see which one we should take it to.  We took it to the least expensive place and I remember when I got it back, it smelled awful.  I hung it outside for a couple of days hoping the smell would go away.  Not good! (We will talk about that issue, too)

Okay, one more story…..

One time, I took two sweaters with matching skirts to a neighborhood dry cleaners.  They were given to me by a sweet friend and they were dry clean only garments.  I didn’t go get them until I had enough money to pick them up.  By the time I went back to get them, they were no longer there.  When you leave items for so many days, they have to clear their racks and give them away.  I was sad that I had lost my things, but, I clearly understood.  Not to mention a bit embarrassed.

Okay, that is my set up for my tomorrow’s post on dry cleaning.

Thanks for reading and following along on my “Laundry Series.”

Don’t forget that everyone that leaves a comment, will have their name entered in my giveaway of a coloring book by Debbie Hannah Skinner.  You will love it!

I would love to know what your grandparents did for a living.  I’m always intrigued by things like that.  Please share!

Until tomorrow,

16 Comments

  1. One year Beverly gave me a dry cleaning certificate for my birthday. I was so excited! I gathered up several garments and off I went. I felt so important when I picked them up. 😊

  2. I’m glad to read your story. I was curious how you got into the business. Now I know 😁. My grandfather was a plumber. They had 9 kids so my grandmother was a stay home mom. ❤

  3. Enjoyed the story but how exactly did God lead you to the business? In other words did y’all know the person selling out or did you answer an ad in the paper? How did it even come up in conversation to start with? And how did Bart & Jim know how to do a dry cleaning business? Did someone show them or did they just learn by trial and error? I bet that was some big shoes to fill! Thank you for sharing and glad you yall have all been successful in your business!! ❤️

  4. Hi Beverly,

    I love the history behind your successful businesses! So happy for you and your family!

    My grandparents were so special to me. I love that you want to know about them.
    My mother’s parents were extremely hard workers. They owned a cafe in a small New Mexico town and she cooked and he managed the cafe along with the gas station that was attached. I loved to smell the food my Granny was cooking in the kitchen and I loved to watch my handsome Grandad John visit with people and pump their gas. I always thought they were the perfect couple. A few years later, she remained in the restaurant business and he became a full time working ranch foreman/cowboy. I loved to spend time with him on the ranch. That’s when I learned how to ride a horse and work cattle – hard work. Our youngest child , Lanham John, is named after him.
    My father’s parents were also special to me. My grandmother worked in town at an office job and my Grandad was also a full – time cowboy.
    Having both of my grandfathers in the ranching industry, it gave me a true love of hard working cowboys and how to find pleasure in the most simple things in life.
    I knew that I would grow up and marry a cowboy no doubt. And, as you know – I did. He was a full time cowboy when we met. However, that is a tough way to make a living. When we decided to start a family we made the decision to get into a more stable industry after weathering a couple of hard droughts!
    It is so neat how family shapes our lives in so many ways and how the things we learn from them last a lifetime and beyond!
    Love ya,
    Shelley

  5. Hi Beverly!
    This was so interesting to me! I never knew the story of how you all started your dry cleaning business…so neat! I love the picture too. That’s a real treasure!

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